Flu knocks out Walters' March fight
Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
Plans for Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters to defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight super title on March 21 at Madison Square Garden, New York, have been shelved temporarily, his manager Jacques Deschamps told The Gleaner yesterday.
"Nicholas picked up a bad flu virus shortly after he returned to Panama from Jamaica last week and has been in bed. His doctor has stated that he will not be able to start training for another two weeks, and that makes a fight in March impossible, as he will not have enough time to prepare properly," stated Deschamps.
The Walters camp was in discussions with promotion company Top Rank for a title fight between Walters and Puerto Rican boxer Gamalier Rodriguez, as part of a double-header at the famous New York venue, which was to have been televised by cable giants HBO. Based on what the Jamaican has been told by his doctor, however, he will not be able to get in enough training for a March fight.
Deschamps also told The Gleaner that even when Walters returns to the gym, he will have to take it easy for the first week or two because of his present condition.
"His long break from training while in Jamaica for Christmas and the various award events was devastating, as he did no training and put on a lot of weight," said Deschamps. " Getting the flu now has been a major setback for him, but we just have to wait and get him back into fighting trim as soon as possible," added the concerned manager.
Deschamps said promoter Bob Arum, who works with the Walters camp, was made aware of the setback earlier this week and has agreed to an April date for the fight card. It is not known at this time whether the opponent for April will still be Rodriguez.
Walters was in Jamaica from December 2014 to the end of January this year, during which time he was named the RJR Foundation's Sportsman of the Year 2014 and was granted a Special Honour Award for Sport by The Gleaner.